Sam, an author I met on my journey, has a blog tour running right now.
Let's check out the details, shall we?
All Systems Down, The Cyber War Series, Book 1:
That's all it takes.
A new kind of war has begun.
Pak Han-Yong's day is here. An elite hacker with Unit 101 of the North Korean
military, he's labored for years to launch Project Sonnimne: a series of deadly viruses set to cripple
And with one tap of his keyboard, the
rewards are immediate.
Brendan Chogan isn't a hero. He's an out-of-work parking enforcement officer
and one-time collegiate boxer trying to support his wife and children. But now
there's a foreign enemy on the shore, a blackout that extends across America,
and an unseen menace targeting him.
Brendan will do whatever it takes to
keep his family safe.
In the wake of the cyber attacks, electrical grids fail, satellites crash to
earth, and the destinies of nine strangers collide.
Strangers whose survival depends upon
each other's skills and courage.
For fans of Tom Clancy, ALL SYSTEMS DOWN is a riveting cyber war thriller which
presents a threat so credible you'll be questioning reality.
That's all it takes.
A new kind of war has begun.
Pak Han-Yong's day is here. An elite hacker with Unit 101 of the North Korean military, he's labored for years to launch Project Sonnimne: a series of deadly viruses set to cripple Imperialist infrastructure.
And with one tap of his keyboard, the rewards are immediate.
Brendan Chogan isn't a hero. He's an out-of-work parking enforcement officer and one-time collegiate boxer trying to support his wife and children. But now there's a foreign enemy on the shore, a blackout that extends across America, and an unseen menace targeting him.
Brendan will do whatever it takes to keep his family safe.
In the wake of the cyber attacks, electrical grids fail, satellites crash to earth, and the destinies of nine strangers collide.
Strangers whose survival depends upon each other's skills and courage.
For fans of Tom Clancy, ALL SYSTEMS DOWN is a riveting cyber war thriller which presents a threat so credible you'll be questioning reality.
Genre: Cyber Thriller
Universal reader link: https://books2read.com/u/mZPqlR
Wow! Congratulations on your book tour and debut novel!
So, what are readers saying about this title?
"An exciting techno-thriller that will keep you up at night and have you thinking for weeks afterwards. Sam Boush’s novel of a devastating cyber attack and its very human consequences, should make you think. A great reading discovery." - Enrico Grafitti, Amazon
"A taut thriller in an unusual setting." - Mariners' Fan, Amazon
"Wow, what an excellent and scary debut novel. The frightening thing about this book is how close to reality it could be. A well written and totally entertaining story. I would highly recommend!!" - dianeg, Amazon
"A fast moving techno-thriller of the highest order. Characters taken to their darkest fears, and then some. If you love a page turner, this is it." - N. Goodman, Amazon
Here is an excerpt from All Systems Down.
Sirens blared across all twenty-five decks of the
USS Gerald R. Ford.
Lieutenant Kelly Seong grabbed her flight suit from
the wall and slipped inside, practiced hands buckling the straps of her Aramid
coveralls. “A goddamned drill at 4 a.m.,” she mumbled as she attached her
flotation vest and checked her oxygen mask and survival gear. Not that she
really needed to. The equipment hadn’t changed since her last flight five hours
earlier. But protocol kept her alive.
Red lights flashed, and the boing, boing, boing of
the alarm ricocheted along the corridors of the ship. Sailors ran to stations.
A petty officer shouted orders to passing swabbies. Despite the cacophony, men
and women hurried through the upper decks with purpose. General Quarters drills
occurred frequently. Every Jack and Jill on the Ford supercarrier had an
assigned station and knew where to be.
Well, nearly everyone. Kelly exhaled sharply. Where
the fuck was Orion?
“You seen Beetlejuice?” she asked a cadre of her
squadron mates. The men shrugged and raced on, a playing-card spade peeking out
from the back of the flight helmets they carried under their arms. They were
Black Aces. First to fight, first to strike.
Orion, as far as she was concerned, hadn’t yet
earned the ace on his helmet. He was what they called a “nugget,” a first-tour
aviator fresh from naval flight training. Technically, he was her weapons
systems officer. The wizzo. In the cockpit of their Super Hornet, he engaged
air-to-air or ground targets and operated the laser- and satellite-guided
ordnance. In a “turn and burn,”
Kelly would make the turn while he dropped the burn.
She would if he were any good. Unfortunately, he was as green as a
grasshopper’s right nut. And here she was, expected to mentor the bastard.
She checked his bunk then the hangar deck. Alarms
blasted too loudly to call for him, and the rush of hundreds of sailors made it
hard to spot his little cornbread head. The other airmen of the Black Aces beat
feet to the ready room. GQ brought the supercarrier alive, even in the dead of
Not that the ship ever really slept; 24 hours a day,
the “Jerry” hummed with activity. At any given time, two-thirds of the four
thousand souls aboard would be awake, working on the floating fortress
currently cruising two hundred miles east of Honolulu.
Kelly beelined past the flight lockers toward the
ready room where the rest of the squadron would already be waiting. If her
wizzo couldn’t get his ass in the saddle he’d suffer the consequence. Over her
career, she’d seen better pilots than him wash out.
She peered in the ready room. Not there. Then back
to the lockers.
“Jesus, what time is it?” Orion Bether shouted above
the din, in that whiny voice that set Kelly’s fist to balling up all on its
He slinked over to his locker and was now making a
hash of getting into his flight suit. Just like a fucking nugget.
She punched him in the shoulder. “Beetlejuice!” she
shouted. “Where the fuck you been? You look like shit, by the way.”
“Ouch!” He groaned, massaging his shoulder.
Like Kelly, Orion had been pulling twelve-hour
shifts, though that was no excuse for the bags under his eyes and his generally
un-shipshape appearance. His sandy blonde hair, short and squared, still
managed to stand up like a sailor’s happy sock after a six-month deployment. He
dropped one of his Nomex flight gloves, revealing, most glaringly, that his
flight suit hadn’t been fastened at the crotch.
“It’s balls thirty. And for fuck’s sake, if you’re
going to button salute a boat goat, at least get her to buckle you up at the
Orion reached down and cursed, fumbling to pull the
strap closed while juggling his helmet and flotation vest. Kelly didn’t wait
for him, leading the way to the ready room. He hopped after her.
“She’s no boat goat, Moonshot. She’s a 2-10-2 if
I’ve ever seen one.” Then he laughed that obnoxious cackle of his. A girl who
was just a two on a scale of ten when on land could easily be a ten out on
deployment, where the ratio of men to women was forty-to-one. When they got back
to land she’d be a two again. Few Navy men were below fucking an ugly girl at
“Listen up!” The call spun them around in salute.
Mike Montez stepped into the room right behind Kelly and Orion. The squadron
commander was a short guy, black hair, usually calm as a pickle in a salt bath.
But in the light of the hangar deck, his dark cheeks were flushed, eyes
excited. “Black Aces,” he said, “this is not a drill. I’m going to repeat
myself. This is not a drill.”
“Sir,” Kelly said. “The call on-speakers sounds a
lot like a training exercise.” During a true GQ, loudspeakers would call all
hands to man their battle stations. Tonight, there’d been nothing but sirens.
“Chrissakes, Lieutenant Seong. I know what I know,
and we’re buns to our guns. Maybe they’re having some technical difficulties up
on the island.”
That drew some laughter. The Admiral sat up in the
island—the control tower rising above the flight deck—and wherever he went,
clusterfucks seemed to follow.
“I don’t know much, but here’s what I got,” Montez
continued, sweeping his gaze across the eighteen pilots in front of him. He bit
his lip and smiled, like he was about to give them some good news. “Ten minutes
ago, at zero-four-hundred hours, our radar sweeps caught more blips than your
collective wives have boyfriends. And they’re moving in on our position. It
might be nothing. Might be seagulls or flying peckers. But, sonafabitch, it
looks a lot like bogies. I don’t have more details than that. So get in your
birds and beat wings west. Stand by for orders when you’re airborne.” He
clapped his hands. “To stations!”
Halle-fuckin’-lujah. It wasn’t a drill. Maybe she’d
actually get to see some real action, for the first time in years.
“Lieutenant Seong. Lieutenant Bether.” Commander
Montez stopped Kelly as she advanced on the exit. “Hold up.” While the other
pilots, flight engineers, and wizzos ran out of the ready room, Kelly and Orion
pressed in close to their commander. “Brush and Wildfire are coming off a
training run. Their bird is hitting the trap in two minutes. She’s got live
ordnance and half a tank of fuel, at most. I want you two to take her up the
minute she lands.”
“A hot switch?” Orion asked.
“Yes, Lieutenant. Now get your asses up and aft.” He
tore out of the ready room, leaving them alone.
“I’ve never done a hot switch,” Orion confessed.
“Then this is on-the-job training.” Kelly helped
Orion into his flotation vest, then handed him his helmet. “How fast can you
run, sailor?” The question was rhetorical, and she didn’t wait for him to answer
before dashing up to the hangar deck. Orion fell in, close behind.
Kelly had performed hot switches many times and
didn’t feel any nerves. It meant that she and Orion would have just three
minutes to switch out with the landing flight team. They’d forgo the normal
preflight checks and would have less fuel. The bonus was they’d be lead jet in
this foray —and Kelly loved to lead.
Sprinting through a narrow corridor on the hangar
deck, she located the ladder to the flight deck.
A sailor, running the opposite direction, clipped
her with his shoulder. Dozens more men pushed past. The siren wobbled and
shifted. A grinding noise now.
Why had the general quarters alarm changed? It
didn’t matter. With both hands she grabbed the rails and ascended to the surface
of the supercarrier, into the October night.
The flight deck of the Jerry shone through the
darkness, illuminated with a thousand bulbs. A vibrant city. A red-light
district at night. Officers and mates hopped over the lighted pathways.
Adrenaline seeped through her, pulsing in her veins.
She hoped, as she slowed to a safer speed, that the fight would last long
enough for her to get in a few good hits.
Starboard, the six-story island dominated the
landscape, the most prominent structure on an otherwise flat surface. From
there, the air boss and mini boss would direct the dozens of F-35C Lightning II
and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft that shuttled across the deck, ready to
catapult into the sky. She scooted past the island, around munitions in large,
white bins and over cables, following markings to where she’d rendezvous with
her own multirole fighter jet.
Sweat dripped down her face, though whether from the
heat or anticipation she couldn’t tell.
Even two days before Halloween, the North Pacific
sizzled. In a lot of ways, it felt like her hometown, only hotter. And muggier.
time is it back in Duluth, anyway? It had to be early
afternoon. Mom would be working the phones to sell combines and tillage
equipment to small-acreage Georgia farmers. Pop would be out buying sweet plum
candy for the trick-or-treaters.
Kelly forced away thoughts of home. She needed to
More sailors swarmed the deck of the supercarrier,
like a thousand bees in a shook-up Coke can, zipping to stations. Every man had
a purpose, his role indicated by his shirt. Maintenance guys, hook runners, and
catapult crews wore a forest green vest over a somewhat lighter green. Chock
and chains wore blue. Purples supplied fuel. Red shirts loaded bombs. But to
Kelly, they were all faceless nobodies that existed for the sole purpose of
getting her bird ready to fly.
There was only one thing Kelly liked about the Navy.
Everything else about this service branch sucked.
Two weeks out of port and the food started to taste like preservatives and
powder. The racks stunk. The showers were so small the crew called them “rain
lockers.” And then there were the shower bunnies—clusters of hair, grime, and
semen that stopped up the drains.
But flight was life.
Nothing on earth compared to soaring at
eleven-thousand feet and watching the target approach in an instant. Flights
were long, and the payoff was short. But nothing made her feel alive like
rolling in over the bad guys at Mach One, pushing that button, and watching
ordnance erupt below.
Of course, it had been years since her last active
duty combat. The world was quiet. Too quiet.
No wars or even military conflicts. Maybe America
had just fucking won. Maybe there would never be another world war. Her gut
yawed at the thought.
Up ahead she saw her carrier-capable Super Hornet on
approach to land, fourteen feet above the deck, tail hook out to snag the
arresting wire—the trap.
The Super Hornet landed flawlessly, catching the
trap and accelerating. The pilot brought it to full power at the end, just in
case the wire broke and he had to pull up to get off the carrier. It had been
known to happen, and this kind of accident killed men on the flight deck as
well as in the plane.
Fortunately, the wire held and the jet jolted to a
Kelly didn’t have time to celebrate the other
pilot’s safe night landing. The flight crew ran to the plane and hauled out the
boarding ladder from a jigsaw-shaped door on the side of the fuselage. As soon
as the pilot and his weapons systems officer climbed down, Orion scampered up
the ladder. Kelly followed.
Buckling into her seat, calmness filled her.
Everything was routine. She punched in her coordinates and performed a quick
inspection of her flight controls. “Beetlejuice, systems check?”
His reply came in through her helmet. “Systems
“LSO, this is Bravo-60 on a hot switch. Gimme a CAT.
The landing signal officer, a white shirt, waved a
pair of traffic wands, incandescent red, signaling her toward the bow.
“Bravo-60, you’re on CAT Two. First in line. Over.”
There were four “CATs”—short for catapult—on the
Jerry, like the starting blocks at a track meet. Once fired, they could launch
a thirty-three-ton aircraft off the deck in seconds. And whenthe Jerry really
got going, she’d be launching birds off all four CATs at once, sending a
death-dealing warhawk into the sky every twenty seconds.
Kelly obeyed the white shirt’s signals across the
deck until she rolled to a stop at CAT Two. The magnet clicked below. The white
shirt indicated the go-ahead with his traffic wands. The air boss shouted a
confirmation. Her catapult was cleared for takeoff.
“Bravo-60 is ready,” she said through her radio.
“Full shhhszzshhsshhshszzzshzz,” a reply came from
“Tower, I’m getting a lot of static on your end.
Repeat the command.”
“They acknowledged ‘full tension,’” Orion said over
It went against protocol not to have heard the
command herself, but she could see the white shirt flagging her forward. And
hadn’t her squadron commander required haste? Fucking Navy. Pay a billion
dollars for a plane, can’t maintain a working radio.
“Whatever,” she said. “Full tension is go. Military
power is go.”
A yellow shirt, the plane director, touched his
helmet, nodding to the shooter. And with that, the shooter fired the CAT, launching
Kelly’s Super Hornet forward.
The G-forces of the catapult slammed her back in her
seat, head and neck straining to stay upright. The combat fighter broke free
down the stroke, accelerating to more than 160 mph in mere seconds. The CAT
threw her jet off the flight deck and over the open sea, in starlit darkness,
ascending, and the punch of acceleration knocked into Kelly like a body blow,
as it did every time. Violent. Loud. The catapult could launch her a thousand
times over the ocean and she’d never get used to it.
She pulled the aircraft away from the water and
brought the wheels up into the fuselage. They soared, airborne.
“Beetlejuice, I’m going to take this bird west.
Radio the carrier to see if you can get us specifics on these radar blips.”
The darkness outside stretched into eternity, ocean
and horizon melding together, both black and indistinct. At night, she always
tried to take it slow and let her flight tools do their job. They called it
“flying the instruments.” She called it common sense.
Down in the void of the Pacific, her strike group
would be at battle stations. The guided missile cruiser and two destroyers
would be circling the Jerry, protecting her. A nuclear sub patrolled the waters
a quarter-mile below the surface. Even the combat support ship provided a
defensive flank for the supercarrier, their flagship.
Kelly swiveled back toward the vertical red and
horizontal blue lights of the optical landing system that pilots called “the
ball.” Beyond, white lights dotted the deck, illuminating the runway.
Otherwise the carrier sat in obscurity. Quiet.
“Beetlejuice, do you have a copy from the island?”
“Negative, Moonshot. They’re radio silent over
“Try the emergency channel.”
She could hear him clicking through stations.
“Nah-nothing.” His voice caught like a deer mouse in a snap trap. “Our, uh, our
radio must be out. With the fucking hot switch, we didn’t catch it.”
“That’s crazy. It was working a minute ago. I’m
gonna give it a try.”
Kelly moved her dial to the emergency channel.
“Bravo-Bravo, this is Bravo-60. Come in.” On the other end, the shush of
static. “Come in, Bravo-Bravo.” Nothing.
“Try one of the other birds,” Orion suggested.
“Who’s in the air?”
Orion craned his head around. “I don’t have a visual
on any others. Do you see any on radar?”
Kelly tapped her cockpit radar display. “I’m not
picking up any birds. We’re on lead. They should be right behind us.”
That pissed her off. It was just like the fucking
Navy to send her out in the darkness against an unknown threat without anyone
on her six for backup. “I’m circling back. We’re no good to anyone with a
tits-up radio.” A hard turn of the stick brought the plane windward and back to
“Jesus, Moonshot. We need orders to head back,
“You wanna radio in for new orders?”
She rolled her eyes and continued to follow the
protocol that prioritized the safety of the plane and its pilots. They flew
back toward the supercarrier.
As they neared, Kelly fixed her gaze on the flight
deck, a half-mile away but still clearly visible.
Bathed in moonlight. Beautiful.
One by one, the lights on the USS Gerald R. Ford
blinked out. First the red lights of the landing strip. Then the white deck
lights. Then the optical landing system, the ball. All out. Gone in less than a
Kelly gasped. Sweat collected on her palms and
between her fingers. This was impossible. In the eight years she’d flown for
the goddamned US Navy she’d been in some hairy situations, seen some real crazy
things. But no one she’d ever flown with had ever seen the lights of their
carrier turn off. Wasn’t supposed to fucking happen.
“Beetlejuice, are you seeing what I’m seeing?”
“Motherfuuhh ... we’re gonna crash.” His voice held
an edge of panic.
“Anything from the island?” Blood beat at the back
of her eyes. “Anything from the Jerry at all?”
He didn’t reply at first. Then a prolonged exhale of
The only light on deck came from a lone F-35
shooting forward on the catapult, down the stroke.
She could tell even from here it wouldn’t be fast
enough. The CAT hadn’t been correctly calibrated. Or it had lost power.
In slow motion, the catapult propelled the jet until
it flipped lifelessly off the bow and toward the sea. At the final second, the
pilot ejected—an explosion from the cockpit that sent him vertically into the
sky. Then the last light winked out as the jet disappeared into the Pacific.
With her world now illuminated only by moonlight,
Kelly never saw the pilot land. Never even saw the splash of the F-35 hitting
But it didn’t matter. A fellow pilot losing a plane
into the ocean didn’t matter. The blackout on the Jerry didn’t matter. At least
not compared to what was happening inside her plane.
“Was that Tater’s bird?” Orion said over her
Kelly didn’t reply. Instead, she stared at her
cockpit controls. The systems on the Super Hornet were failing. The Navigation
Forward Looking Infrared—the advanced sensors that let her see— dropped
offline. The Doppler ground mapping radar followed. Then the target designator
that delivered laser-guided bombs.
Even those system failures paled in comparison to
the reading from the fuel gauge. Where
the hell are we going to land? Her hand shook on the stick.
And the dial moved steadily toward empty.
Whoa! So tense!
Readers, you'll have to check out this book! Also, you can add it to your Goodreads shelf!
for a chance to win an amazing $25 Amazon gift card and access to
exclusive content. One winner will be randomly selected through Rafflecopter. Click the tour link below
Awesome! Thanks so much, Sam!
Let's also give kudos to Sam's sponsor:
Thank you, Sam, for letting us know all about your cyber thriller! It sounds great! :)
Sam Boush is a novelist and award-winning journalist.
He has worked as a wildland firefighter, journalist, and owner of a mid-sized
marketing agency. Though he's lived in France and Spain, his heart belongs to
Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife, Tehra, two wonderful children,
and a messy cat that keeps them from owning anything nice.
He is a member of the Center for Internet Security, International Information
Systems Security Certification Consortium, and Cloud Security Alliance.
ALL SYSTEMS DOWN is his first novel, with more to come.
He has worked as a wildland firefighter, journalist, and owner of a mid-sized marketing agency. Though he's lived in France and Spain, his heart belongs to Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his wife, Tehra, two wonderful children, and a messy cat that keeps them from owning anything nice.
He is a member of the Center for Internet Security, International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, and Cloud Security Alliance.
ALL SYSTEMS DOWN is his first novel, with more to come.